This course offers an introduction to the Chinese civilization from the earliest times to the end of the 18thcentury. It will cover major historical eras and events, as well as the traditions of thought and practices running through them. Literary and artistic genres will be introduced as means to better understand larger social trends. Students will practice close reading and analysis of historical documents, literary compositions, and cultural artifacts. Through these hands-on engagements, they will get to know the diverse voices and perspectives within the Chinese tradition and explore their contemporary relevance. Absolutely no previous experience with the study of China is necessary. At the same time, we hope to bring new perspectives to those who already have some familiarity with Chinese history and culture.